SMILE: Sport Meets Inclusion

Launch of the project S.M.I.L.E.: Sport Meets Inclusion and Links-up Europe managed by Asociatia Lumea lui Pinocchio and co-financed by the European Union under the Erasmus+ programme (ref. 2015-1-RO01-KA105-013970).

Sports, outdoor activities and cooperative games wiib constitute the powerful tools to stimulate social inclusion, healthy lifestyles and active European citizenship … these are just few of the key features of this new and beautiful project involving 31 participants and 3 European countries: Romania, Italy and Spain.

The activities of the project are:

A Spanish long-term EVS from Spain for 7 months (September 2015-April 2016). The Spanish Sending Organization COCAT is based in Barcelona, and is a Coordination Platform of youth organizations of Catalonia. The Hosting Organization Association Lumea Lui Pinocchio is based in Panciu (Jud. Vrancea), and with its Educational Daily Centre Pinocchio, promotes the socio-cultural inclusion of the neediest children and youngsters of Panciu, wih a specific attention to the local Roma community.

A bilateral Youth Exchange will take place in Romania between 22nd and 31st July 2015.
The exchange will move around Romania: it starts in Bucharest, then moves to Campulung (Jud. Arges) and finally the activities continue and end in Panciu. Through the use of non formal education learning methods (role-playig games, facilitated discussions, workshops, etc.), the participants will take part in preliminary activities, ice-breaking and team building games, workshops on dangerous habits, grassroots sport and outdoor activities, the organization of an international sport event in Panciu open to the local citizenship, the visit of some Romanian cities, evaluation moments.

The exchange idea born out of the enthusiasm of last year experience of exchange and involves two partners: Association Lumea lui Pinocchio (Panciu – Romania) and the NGO IBO Italia (Ferrara – Italy). There will be also a collaboration with another Romanian association active in the fields of youth and sports, the association Zimbrul Carpatin.
24 young people involved (age 13-25 years old) together with 6 youth leaders, each one with a unique background of experience and including youngsters with fewer opportunities, will make a wonderful miscellaneous group for this intense experience.

The project Youth Exchange will constitute a concrete example of good practice of social inclusion and an added value for everyone.

In June 2015 an Advance Planning Visit (APV) done by 1 Italian leader along with 1 Italian young participans was organized in order to improve the quality of the further youth exchange’s implementation.

The main project’s objectives are:

– to use sport as a vehicle to promote the attainment of life skills among young people, to spread healthy lifestyles among youngsters, as well as, as a tool to develop self-respect and respect for others and interest for cultural diversity.

– to promote social inclusion and equity and foster important values for youth personal and social life. The exchange emphasizes the importance of an inclusive and fair Europe, a society where everyone can feel free to express his/her own talents and personality.

– to stimulate active participation of youth in the society, through the valorisation of youth empowerment and engagement across cultural, social and other boundaries.

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